- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 11, 2002

Coalition forces blow up Afghan ammo caves

KABUL, Afghanistan Coalition forces detonated a huge cache of enemy weapons and ammunition yesterday inside four caves believed in use by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in eastern Afghanistan.

The thunderous blast was seen and heard for miles, and villagers within a mile of the site had been evacuated.

The caves blown up yesterday were 2 to 3 yards high, 30 to 50 yards deep and full of arms and munitions, Maj. Jeff Moulton said.

Death toll climbs in Russia bombing

MAKHACHKALA, Russia Flags flew at half staff and all entertainment TV programming was canceled yesterday in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, where the death toll in a holiday bombing rose to 41.

Russia's security chief said three persons with ties to a radical Islamic sect had been detained in connection with the bombing.

The regional legislature declared a day of mourning for the victims of the bomb, which exploded along a Victory Day parade route in the Caspian Sea port of Kaspiisk.

At least five persons who were injured in the blast, including three servicemen, died in a hospital overnight.

Chirac Cabinet goes to work

PARIS President Jacques Chirac convened the first Cabinet meeting of his new government yesterday with security at the top of the agenda after a suicide bombing in Pakistan that killed 14 persons, most of them French.

The conservative president gave the 27-member Cabinet its marching orders three days after its appointment, seeking rapid action in revamping security forces and the justice system.

Mr. Chirac, fresh from a landslide re-election victory May 5 over anti-immigration leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, is virtually without a grace period ahead of June 9 and June 16 legislative elections.

Fox criticizes U.S. immigration laws

MEXICO CITY Mexican President Vicente Fox lashed out at U.S. immigration laws in a speech late Thursday in New York City, prompting a White House spokeswoman to insist yesterday that U.S.-Mexican relations remain "strong and robust" despite differences over immigration policy.

The United States must legalize the status of millions of Mexican immigrant workers to prove its commitment to a closer relationship with Mexico, Mr. Fox told the Council of the Americas, a Western Hemisphere business group.

A pledge by President Bush to review his country's immigration policy regarding 3.5 million illegal Mexican workers was put on hold after the September 11 attacks.

Women shut out in Bahrain election

MANAMA, Bahrain Bahrain's first free and fair elections in nearly 30 years drew praise and a good turnout, but also disappointment that no women were elected to the island's municipal councils.

Justice Minister Sheik Khalid bin Abdulla Khalifa said yesterday that 28 of the 50 council seats had been decided in Thursday's voting, but all the winners were men.

The remaining 22 seats would be decided in runoffs on Thursday. None of their candidates are women.

Bosnian Serb pleads innocent at tribunal

THE HAGUE A Bosnian Serb prison guard who surrendered to the Yugoslav tribunal pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of murder and torture at the infamous Omarska prison camp.

Momcilo Gruban turned himself in to the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague on May 2 to face allegations of war crimes for atrocities committed during the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

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